My work ORDER OF MAGNITUDE will be part of Through the Mesh at NeMe Arts Center in Limassol, Cyprus. Curated by Patrick Lichty, this exhibition “features the work of artists who initially began to investigate the cultural space of the networks, biopolitical and informatic; who challenge or jam it. The artworks look at electronic networks as scopophilic and performative, the asymmetric regimes of power they project, and the positive uses of “darkside” technologies. These areas of investigation open the media archaeologies of the panoptic network, its modalities, and the spaces of criticism, humour and progressivism. From the era of the Cold War in which the “net” was created to assure communication, Through the Mesh: Media, Borders, and Firewalls seeks to consider the conditions of the contemporary landscape and suggest progressive strategies for the future.”
As part of the exhibition, I spoke with artist/curator Patrick Lichty about Facebook/Meta as unchecked corporate power, FB’s Metaverse as the next wave in workplace hypersurveillance, shifting political ideologies in Silicon Valley, TikTok’s negative effects on sleep, and of course, more.
Through the Mesh opens 9 Dec 2021 and closes 20 Jan 2022.
Several of my social media-related works, including Minus, Facebook Demetricator, Go Rando, and ORDER OF MAGNITUDE were the subject of a feature article at Fast Company:
… Grosser focuses on the cultural effects of social media, particularly the way it preys on users’ insecurities, taps into our desire for instant gratification, and is designed to be addictive. Over the past few weeks, his work has become increasingly relevant, as leaked internal documents and the recent testimony from whistleblower Frances Haugen reveal exactly how much Facebook knows about the damage its platform does.
… Facebook says it is exploring ways to reduce its negative effects on people’s well-being, through features like giving users the option to remove “likes” from posts. This is something Grosser began exploring a decade ago.
… Ultimately, the Minus platform is geared toward spurring conversation, since users could respond to posts freely. “The only way to gauge the success of your post was if there was a conversation in response to it,” Grosser says. “That’s how human interaction worked until social media. We didn’t go to parties and walk away with lists of numbers about how we were being seen. We had to listen to someone, think about what they had said, and respond if we felt compelled to.”
… Minus is a fascinating exploration into how social media might work if constant engagement were not at the center of the experience.
My work Safebook will be part of Algorithmic Bias at [Senne] in Brussels. Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight, Algorithmic Bias “is an exhibition concerned with the systems and structures embedded within the internet of things, many of which were and continue to be created with an in-built bias. Algorithms have become a common tool used in the framework of social media platforms, created by unknown coders, reinforcing social biases of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. The works in the exhibition explore and critique the procedurally generated invisible rules that control our online and offline lives.”
Artists include Zach Blas, Joy Buolamwini, Bob Bicknell-Knight, Jacob Ciocci, Ami Clarke, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stephanie Dinkins, Ben Grosser, Joel Holmberg, Esther Hovers, Claire Jervert, JODI and Lynn Hershman Leeson.
I had a great conversation with Karine Galland about my social network Minus. Karine is an early user of the platform and a digital well being coach in Paris. She also wrote an article about her experience of Minus.
Deep Truth at Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede, Netherlands
My works Textbook, Safebook, and Not For You are part of Deep Truth at Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede, Netherlands. Curated by Marie Janin and Kees De Groot, “[the] fifteen (inter)national artists [in Deep Truth] explore the idea of truth in all its complexity. They unravel how truths are constructed or manipulated, play a sophisticated game with them or show us a glimpse of a future in which deep fakes and artificial intelligence determine our view of the world. But they also speculate about new ways of looking at the world, about frames of mind that are better suited to the times we live in and the future we face.” Artists include Marjolijn Boterenbrood, Oana Clitan, Current, Ben Grosser, Seán Hannan, Joey Holder, Jenny Holzer, Carlijn Kingma, Jan Robert Leegte, Daito Manabe, Warren Neidich, Floris Schönfeld, Jonas Staal, Tamiko Thiel and /P, and Frederik de Wilde.
Deep Truth opens 9 Sep 2021 and closes in January 2022.